(Posted: 4/29/13 P.M; e-mail update 4/30)
Snap quiz: What do Baseball and the banks have in common? Answer: Both have the clout to avoid regulation. We know how “too big to fail” has spared major banks from Team Obama hitting them with game-changing penalties for cheating. Baseball has taken a purposeful pass on complaints about the exploitation of young players recruited in Latin America.
Two years after the meningitis death of a Washington Nationals prospect in the Dominican Republic, recipe a condition that went untreated early because of the lack of a medical professional at the Nats’ baseball academy, no rx little has changed. Both there and at most of 30 such facilities in what is the epicenter of Latin American baseball, young recruits are denied health insurance as well as the presence of on-site medical personnel.
The victimization of 16-year-olds, who, unlike here, don’t have to be high school graduates , is a story that gets no coverage in the Yanqui press boxes. A follow-up piece last month on the death of the Nats’ prospect by a Mother Jones reporter was the first substantive mention here of the tragedy over a two-year period. In the same way, our corporate media ignore political stories that suggest a setback for the capitalistic game in Latin America. Recently, for example, Team Obama called for an audit of election returns in Venezuela, echoing the demand of the right-wing candidate who lost by a narrow margin to Hugo Chavez’s successor Nicolas Maduro. The story received prominent play here, especially since Spain also supported the audit. What happened next went largely unreported…except by the UK Guardian’s Mark Weisbrot, who put the entire game into perspective:
“Washington’s efforts to de-legitimize the election mark a significant escalation of US efforts at regime change in Venezuela. Not since its involvement in the 2002 military coup has the US government done this much to promote open conflict in Venezuela… But the Obama team’s effort failed miserably. (Last) Wednesday, the government of Spain, Washington’s only significant ally supporting a ‘100% audit,’ reversed its position and recognized Maduro’s election. Then the secretary general of the Organization of American States (OAS)…backed off his prior alignment with the Obama administration and recognized the election result. It was not just the left governments of Argentina, Brazil, Ecuador, Bolivia, Uruguay and others that had quickly congratulated Maduro on his victory; Mexico, Colombia, the Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Haiti and other non-left governments had joined them. The Obama administration was completely isolated in the world.”
Meanwhile, Team Maduro has arrested an American filmmaker, charging him with fomenting anti-government tension. Team Obama says it knows nothing about the gringo free agent. But the record book shows repeated instances of U.S. meddling in countries like Guatemala, Chile, and Bolivia, as well as Venezuela, that weren’t playing ball with the Yanquis. Just as George H.W. Bush said (in the early 1990s) that we were intervening in the oil-rich Middle East to protect “our way of life,” the widening move there and in Latin America to isolate us seems the result of a perception that we are threatening their way of life.
Something to Bank On: Attorney General Eric Holder (before Senate Judiciary Committee): “(There are indications that) if you…bring a criminal charge, it will have a negative impact on the national economy, perhaps even the world economy. And I think that is a function of the fact that some of these (banks) have become too large.”
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Resiliency: The 15-9 Yankees are winning – they made a resiliently played four-game sweep of Toronto – with discards, who in Joe Girardi’s words – have “found a way (to come) together.” The second and seventh innings of Sunday’s game offered a composite snapshot of the team’s has-been heroics. Brennan Boesch, a pre-season cut by the Tigers, hit a solo HR in the second. Travis Hafner, let go by the Indians, singled in the seventh, with the score 2-1 Blue Jays. LyleOverbay, released by Red Sox just before the season opened, hit a two-run homer to give the Yanks their winning 3-2 margin.
The Red Sox, meanwhile, with a three-game sweep of Houston, lifted their MLB-best record to 18-7. The Sox are two-and-a-half ahead of the Yankees, and nine-and-a-half over Toronto, which has lost 11 of 16 since Jose Reyes fractured his ankle.
Hype-r-ama: Rangers catcher A.J. Pierzynski on Yu Darvish: “He has (seven) pitches, he has the mentality, and he keeps getting more comfortable.” (quoted by ChiTrib’s Phil Rogers).
Joe Posnanski, NBC Sports on the Mets’ Matt Harvey: “You watch him pitch now and you think ‘How does anyone ever hit him?’ Five starts this year, and he has not given up more than four hits in any of them. His pitches are eerily (Dwight)Gooden-like … his hard slider is very different from Gooden’s sloping curveball obviously, but Harvey (like Gooden) throws high fastballs, 95 to 100 mph, and to the batter the ball must look like it disappears into the atmosphere…because they swing and miss it about half the time.”
Streakers: Red Sox +5, Giants – 5
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(The Nub is a team effort skippered by Dick Starkey. Comments about blog issues or requests for regular e-mail updates are welcome when addressed to the skipper at firstname.lastname@example.org. Previous Nubs may be found by scrolling below.)